Newsletter 103 from 09/01/2008

International Building Exhibition Fürst-Pückler-Land

1. Steinmeier makes a summer visit to IBA projects
2. IBA Film Nights attract movie fans to the bed of Lake Ilse
3. IBA competition arouses interest in Lusatian Lakeland
4. Giant raft Anna-Mathilde carries visitors across Sedlitz Lake
5. IBA cycle tour on the trail of Mark Brandenburg sand
6. Cottbus Baltic Festival outlines plans for post-mining landscape
7. Geopark Muskau Arch Geopark issues invitation to Geopark Meeting and Geotope Day
8. Fürst-Pückler-Park Bad Muskau opens new tourism centre
9. Greek culture meets Lusatian industrial heritage

(2) IBA Film Nights attract movie fans to the bed of Lake Ilse

Some 400 visitors defied the unpredictable weather last weekend to attend the 2nd Film Nights on Lake Ilse in Großräschen. Organised in cooperation with the Cottbus Film Festival Cottbus, the Film Nights were held in a different location this time, immediately next to the bridge on the bed of Lake Ilse. Flaming torches and a starlit sky guided the audience to their seats, leading the people down into the former coal mine which has been engaged in a flooding programme since the spring of 2007 from which it will emerge as Lake Ilse. After a musical prelude from the Senftenberg band THE CAT HEADS and the Rumanian sounds of the Cohalm Folk Ensemble, visitors were taken on a cinematic journey extraordinaire through the Czech Republic, Germany and Poland on all three days. Popular summer movies flickered across the 14-by-8-metre inflatable screen. The weather was in keeping with the irony of the films, with the gentle summer wind, warm drizzle and cold starlit evenings prompting the filmgoers to take refuge underneath umbrellas, blankets and rain capes. Nevertheless, at the end of the films there was universal acclaim for the great atmosphere and the night-time panorama at the foot of the IBA Terraces.

(3) IBA competition arouses interest in Lusatian Lakeland

The open design competition on "mobile floating architecture" announced by the IBA in July has been greeted with great interest among experts on a global scale. Three weeks before the competition is due to close, project manager Michael Feiler has taken stock for the first time: "We have received inquiries from many countries all over the world, including Vietnam, India, Japan, Canada, Israel, Mexico and South Africa. But we can only consider European entries. Nevertheless the level of demand has shown us that "living on the water" is a subject of enormous interest." The competition brief is to design a floating house with the greatest possible degree of self-sufficiency and mobility. The competition has also drawn a great deal of attention to Lusatia, revolving as it does around the conditions in the newly emerging Lusatian Lakeland. Lusatia is perceived as a creative backdrop and the Lakeland as a golden opportunity to take new directions. The deadline for competition entries is 15 September. The winners will be announced on 13 October.

(4) Giant raft Anna-Mathilde carries visitors across Sedlitz Lake

Minister of the Interior Jörg Schöhnbohm christened Lake Ilse sports club's new raft Anna-Mathilde in memory of the former district of Sedlitz. Measuring 14 metres by 4.5 metres, the contraption is driven by ferrymen and can carry 54 persons on Sedlitz Lake. "That's a whole busload", said club manager René Sabrowski. And the space on the new raft is needed. "We are seeing a big increase in demand for our tours." This was already confirmed on the day of the launch. Some 100 curious onlookers had made their way there, not wanting to miss the maiden voyage. Meanwhile, the members of the Ilse Lake sports club are still waiting for the two new landing stages which, according to the LMBV, are due for completion this season. The IBA Fürst-Pückler-Land lent its support to the club, helping it to secure a grant of 18,000 euros from the state of Brandenburg for both projects - the construction of the raft and the landing stages. When the landing stages are completed there are plans to have a ferry connection linking together two attractive cycle path networks in the Lusatian Lakeland. "The IBA's vision of a 1000-metre-long floating crossing at the narrowest part of the lake could soon be simulated", said IBA Director Rolf Kuhn.

(5) IBA cycle tour on the trail of Mark Brandenburg sand

The IBA Fürst-Pückler-Land joined forces with the Kunstmuseum Dieselkraftwerk Cottbus to develop a "sand path" to accompany the "[Mark Brandenburg] Sand" exhibition. The guided cycle tour sets off for the second time on 31 August 2008 at 10:00 hrs. from the Kunstmuseum Dieselkraftwerk. The 20-kilometre round trip is an invitation to experience a direct encounter with the sand in the countryside around Cottbus. The four-hour discovery tour leads from the diesel power station to the west viewing point at Cottbus-Nord open-cast mine and to the Merzdorf viewing tower where the Cottbus Baltic Festival will also be taking place the same weekend. The tour continues to the inland dunes of the Merzdorfer Alpen, to the former lime sand brick works and on to the Herzogsberg mountains, Pückler Park Branitz and back to the Kunstmuseum Dieselkraftwerk Cottbus. Some 40 people took part in the last journey through time into the past, present and future of the Mark Brandenburg sand. The tour costs 6 euros. The price includes admission to the "[Mark Brandenburg] Sand" exhibition. Anyone wishing to explore the "sand path" under their own steam can pick up a guide for 50 cents ("Sandführer") in the Kunstmuseum Dieselkraftwerk.

(6) Cottbus Baltic Festival outlines plans for post-mining landscape

The town council of Cottbus, the Kunst.Fabrik Cottbus arts centre and the "StadtAgenten" creative team initiative have issued an invitation to the 3rd Baltic Festival scheduled to run from 30 to 31 August 2008 at Merzdorf viewing tower. The festival was started as a build-up to 2030 by which time the working open-cast mine, having been closed down in 2015, will have given way to the largest lake in the Lower Lusatian open-cast mining landscape at the gateway to the town of Cottbus. The weekend will be an opportunity to find out more about the plans already laid, the visions already hatched in a hotbed of ideas and set out in a master plan with the town council of Cottbus, the neighbouring local authorities and the IBA. Visitors can expect two action-packed days with a varied cultural programme. Cottbus band "Ursus Cummeus" will be playing on Saturday evening to get things underway. "Elara" and "Between Us" and the "Trial Team Cottbus" will then take to the stage. The summer evening will draw to a close at 22:00 hrs. with a light show and musical performances from "Hocum" and "Elektrobär". The focus is on sport and information on the Sunday at 10:00 hrs. when there will be a guided cycle tour around the future Cottbus Baltic. Rounding off the festival there will be a lively variety programme for children and families.

(7) Geopark Muskau Arch Geopark issues invitation to Geopark Meeting and Geotope Day

The German-Polish Geopark Meeting will return to its traditional venue of Muskau Arch from 12 to 13 September 2008. The conference on "Lignite - Origins and Omens of the Present" will be held at the district administration building in Forst. The skeleton of the Mammoth of Klinge is also on display in the building. Time will be allowed for the presentation of new developments in the Geopark and the surrounding area. The second day will be given over to a full-day excursion to Cottbus-Nord open-cast mine and its sand dune setting. Timed to coincide with "Geotope Day", Muskau Arch Geopark is also organising a bicycle tour to Trzebiel via the Teufelsstein (Devil's Stone) along the River Neisse terraces on 21 September 2008. The tour starts at 10:00 hrs. at the new bridge in Zelz. For more information please contact Thomas Kockert by telephone on 035600/38518, or by email at

(8) Fürst-Pückler-Park Bad Muskau opens new tourism centre

A tourism centre will be opened on 13 September 2008 in the German-Polish UNESCO World Heritage Site, Muskau Park, as a central point of reference for visitors. It will be accommodated in the entrance hall of the largely restored palace and will house the new permanent exhibition "Pückler! Pückler? Beyond Belief!". Annual visitor numbers are expected to be approximately 250,000 and there will be an electronic terminal providing extensive information on the tourist attractions and events in Upper and Lower Lusatia (Germany), Lower Silesia and Lubusz (Poland). This information will also be available from September onwards on the revamped website at

(9) Greek culture meets Lusatian industrial heritage

"European sounds - hosted by Greece" will be the theme for a benefit event on the evening of 13 September 2008 at 18:00 hrs. in Plessa Cultural Power Station - organised by Sokrates Giapapas (Z.E.I.T. GmbH), Stephan Hilsberg (SPD) and Hans-Joachim Schubert (Managing Director of Erlebnis-Kraftwerk Plessa gGmbH). Friendship is the bond between all three, while mining is the bond between Lusatia and Greece in that the Greeks also used to mine silver, precious stones, lead and lignite. Their joint efforts are directed at Europe, culture and the power station and therefore the net proceeds from the event will be used to benefit the old technology. The plan is to get the grates of boiler 1 moving and to illuminate the boilers on the inside. The event will raise support for the project and a contribution of 19.90 euros. There will be a cookery show, a four-course set menu, dancing, music and film - all with a Greek theme - and interesting conversations. Tickets can be purchased at the IBA Terraces or ordered by telephone on 03533-607220.

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last update: 1/26/2017 13:13